Women for Smart Growth Framework for discussion and report Background The Women for Smart Growth workshop builds on the eight priority areas concerning the improvement of women’s position and involvement in ICTs, the Digital Age, and the Digital Agenda, proposed at the conference Women in Science, Engineering and Technology in the Digital Age, Budapest 6-9 March 2011. The background of this workshop is, however, much more far-reaching. It also builds on the series of conferences, events and activities promoting more full engagement of women in ICTs led by the Commission, and, specifically, by the DG Information Society over the last 5 years. Of key impact among in these endeavours have been the DG INFSO’s Shadowing Day for Girls scheme and the Code of Best Practices for Women in ICTs. These initiatives won wide recognition, including from the Financial Times, which during the 2009 conference interviewed the girls who participated in the shadowing scheme that year to uncover their relationship with digital technologies and what influenced their career decisions. The interview with the FT revealed a critical generational, geographical and skills gap that exists in society today with regard to the attitudes towards ICTs and the level of engagement with digital technologies. The principal concern with regard to the Digital Agenda is that whilst young women (and men) have completely embraced ICTs innovation as users, they have been increasingly rejecting ICTs oriented careers. This trend has important policy implications with regard to the innovation aspirations contained within the Digital Agenda, the EU2020 Strategy, and the hopes for new ways of promoting societal and economic development in Europe, linked to R&D, following the recent financial crisis. The EU 2020 Strategy has multiple horizontal gender aspects, as well as multiple roles and expectations for ICT’s to play: as an employment market, an enabler of innovation, a source of new innovation ideas, a tool for taking ideas to markets, and a driver for cultural change. To make effective progress towards the Digital Agenda, Europe can draw on number of strengths that are already, which provide important competitive advantage, for example, its highly educated and trained women (e.g. 52% university graduates); innovation and entrepreneurial cultures; experience of gender mainstreaming; and women’s share of the markets for innovations and products. Importantly, the growing participation of women in employment, which achieved a 2.1% trend growth in the Eurozone over the last decade, and its consequent impact on economy (‘womenomics’), has created new champions of gender equality actions among economics researchers, in places such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and World Economic Forum, Harvard Business School. Recent reports have recommended gender equality measures as “possibly the most important action” - better than quantitative easing and other macro policies - that policy makers could take to promote long-term sustainable growth. The Women for Smart Growth workshop is therefore is very timely. Aims of the Workshop The aim of the Workshop is to consider policy framework for effective mainstreaming of gender in the Digital Age in order to translate the priority areas identified in Budapest into a cohesive Gender Action Plan for Women for Smart Growth. The GAP will provide a common basis for planning specific programmes, projects and interventions, in order to ensure their greater integration and impact.
Pages to are hidden for
"Women"Please download to view full document